For the first time in as long as I have been a Colts fan, we have to look at a new type of player in the draft. Since the 3-4 became all the rage in the NFL, we Colts fans have been able to dismiss most players that are labeled as the 3-4 "tweener" pass rushers. They didn't fit our system and it made it easy to ignore them. All that is changing this year, and the change begins here.
Shea McClellin is a versatile and explosive athlete who spent his college career in just about every possible pass rushing position. He was third in total tackles for the this year with 50. The big number is in tackles for loss. 12.5 of his tackles were for loss. That's huge. Not to mention 7 sacks, 2 INTs, a forced fumble and a blocked kick. All around production, albeit against inferior Mountain West competition.
At 6'3'' 260, he is a little bigger than Robert Mathis. His stats do tell a bit of a story as well. In 2010, he had 30 tackles, 9.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. The fact that he makes so many plays in the backfield points to explosive first step at the snap and a nose for the play. His experience playing out of multiple locations is an advantage for teams that are looking to vary their defensive looks (sound like the new Colts?). While he doesn't have the flash that some of the other big name pass rushers do, his intelligence and motor would be welcome additions.
Breakdown from draft sites and combine info after the jump.
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Impression: McClellin is a productive pass rusher with a big motor, good skill set and can get after the QB in a number of ways. Looks like a potential starter at the next level.
A try-hard, high-motor college defensive end with intelligence, instincts and effort to warrant close attention as a 3-4 outside-rush 'backer. Lack of size and limitations defending the run could leave him relegated to an upfield rush role where he could fly at the snap.
McClellin has started three consecutive years at defensive end for Boise State. He is an undersized DE who 3-4 teams will value at the OLB position in their schemes. At just under 260 pounds, he can struggle at times against bigger linemen, but he is a decent prospect at the position and has fifth-round value, especially as a swing player.
Combine Results -
Here's a highlight video. Pay no attention to the crazy Superman theme.
My take for the Colts:
The projections for Shea range all over the board. I've seen anywhere from 2 through 5 as far as round goes. I do see OLB-DE hybrid as a need as we have never seen any of our current players do that. I don't know if McClellin is the answer, but most of us will agree that pass rush is key (ask the Giants if you need a refresher). The earliest I would look at McClellin would be the 4th and there are plenty other ahead of him in my book.